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FENNO: Baseball’s mess with Biogenesis is really just beginning
The most widespread discipline in MLB since the Black Sox scandal in 1919 led to the lifetime ban of eight players. The biggest drug outbreak in the game’s history. All resting on the would-be doctor MLB sued into submission. Bosch is a frequent litigation target and was never licensed to practice medicine in Florida. He holds plenty of motivation now to finger players and save himself.
Why should MLB trust one word?
The tactic would do the NCAA’s bumbling investigative expeditions proud, from telling former University of Miami athletes they would be considered guilty if they didn’t cooperate with investigators to paying convicted Ponzi schemer Nevin Shapiro’s attorney to ask questions under oath during federal bankruptcy proceedings. That’s how the NCAA got around not having the power to subpoena records or compel testimony. In the same spirit, MLB took advantage of the legal system to slink around the limits on its investigative powers, too.
All this means is the end is nowhere in sight. Remember, these potential suspensions aren’t based on flunked drug tests. So, how can MLB prove, based on Bosch’s testimony, that Jesus Montero or Bartolo Colon or any of the other players named in the ESPN report were injected or smeared or popped whatever nefarious concoction Bosch dreamed up? How can MLB prove Bosch, this time, is telling the truth?
If Selig admits the sport’s drug policy isn’t enough of a disincentive to stop a team’s worth of players from cheating and starts handing out suspensions like giveaway bobbleheads, the ripples aren’t difficult to imagine. The MLB Players Association, in the middle of a streak of labor peace, won’t appreciate labeling several of its members drug cheats by a man MLB essentially accused of ruining the game in the March lawsuit.
Remember Bountygate, the pay-for-hits scandal surrounding the New Orleans Saints that embroiled the NFL in a series of grievances and lawsuits? This could be baseball’s version. Messy, unpredictable and filled with lawyers. The problem, really, is just beginning.
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